House of Commons Hansard #173 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mace.

Topics

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill 447, an act to amend the Income Tax Act

Madam Speaker, the bill seeks to amend the Income Tax Act to disallow the fact that currently fines and levies on businesses are tax deductible.

The bill finds its origin in the supreme court ruling that allowed that fines, penalties and levies that businesses incur were tax deductible as long as the business received the fine in the operation of its business and in searching to make an income.

Most Canadians would agree that I do not think parliament ever intended to allow this particular situation. The penalty would undermine the detrimental value of the fine if it were allowed as a tax deduction. I cannot deduct my parking tickets from my income taxes. We do not believe that a business should be able to deduct any kind of a fine or penalty from its taxes either.

I hope that the bill finds broad support among members of the House.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I would be grateful if you would seek unanimous consent to return to presenting reports from committees. I have a report which the other parties are aware of.

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Is it agreed?

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present the 52nd report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership and the associate membership of some committees.

If the House gives its consent, I move concurrence at this time.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Is it agreed?

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, I am proud to put forward a substantial petition signed by thousands of first nations citizens in the province of Manitoba.

These citizens reject the government's first nations governance initiative as put forward by the minister of Indian affairs. They suspect it to be nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to diminish or even extinguish their treaty rights.

The petitioners point out further that the consultation process that is going on with the first nations governance initiative is nothing more than a sham. They do not believe it meets the legal test of what broad consultation should really be. They argue that they will submit more signatures of citizens than the minister actually managed to reach in his consultation process.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

5:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. When I spoke on my private member's bill, I apparently said for a maximum sentence of 30 years. I meant to say 30 days. I ask for consent to have that changed in the record.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

5:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

That is fine.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

April 22nd, 2002 / 5:20 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

5:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-15B, an act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals and firearms) and the Firearms Act, be read the third time and passed; and of the amendment; and of the amendment to the amendment.

An act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals and firearms) and the Firearms Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, the amendment deals with moving the bill back to committee and returning it by a specified date. This motion is required in order to give credence to the comments of the former minister of justice, that what is legitimate today will be lawful tomorrow under the bill.

A number of issues have been pointed out that have caused concern. First is the breadth of the offence and the elimination of very specific defences under the act. I have heard people say time and again that the defences under section 8 are now applicable and the defences under section 429 are not needed. The point is that the defences under section 8 were always applicable. In respect of those specific property offences, section 429 set up certain specific defences. They were put there for a reason.

If we eliminate those defences in respect of animal offences, there is clearly a substantive change that has taken place. In order to ensure that does not occur, and as the former minister herself indicated some time ago that what is legitimate today will be lawful tomorrow, we need to specifically have those defences put into the new part where these offences are going.

The other point is that when someone is charged under a criminal code offence, there is an issue of clarity. The offence itself must be clear. If someone is going to be charged under the criminal code and the offence is not clear, it does the principles and administration of justice a disservice. This particular offence is not clear nor is it clear in respect of the defences that are applicable.

I want to reiterate that the Canadian Alliance supports the increased penalties for animal cruelty but we are certainly very concerned about creating criminal liability where no criminal liability exists. It has been a feature of the government to bring in legislation that minimizes the amount of mens rea required before there can be a conviction. Mens rea is the Latin term relating to guilty mind. In our parliamentary system and our justice system, mens rea is an essential element of every criminal offence. That needs to be clear.

The final point I will make is that people as prominent as Pierre Berton have indicated very strongly that the bill will impact negatively on our scientific research community. The progress we have made in health care has come at some expense and has involved the use of animals. We want to ensure that continues for the health of the people of Canada. We do not want the use of animals done in any cruel or inappropriate way. Health care professionals and scientific researchers need that assurance of protection under the law.